Lady Gaga: Nancy Pelosi Who?
Lady Gaga tops Nancy Pelosi in Forbes Magazine.
Lady Gaga is more powerful than Nancy Pelosi. . . at least according to Forbes Magazine. The Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful women was released this week. While it does take into account personal wealth and earnings it also factors in account executive position, creative influence and entrepreneurship. Topping the list is First Lady Michelle Obama. Irene Rosenfeld the CEO of Kraft Foods was number 2 and Oprah came in third. Lady Gaga broke into the top 10 at number 7.
Forbes shows Lady Gaga as having earned some 62 million last year which is less than the 87 million Beyonce (ranked #9) brought in and far less than the 315 million brought in by Oprah. It is in the media buzz sections that Gaga dominates. She has over 6.5 million followers on Twitter and 19 million Facebook fans. Last year alone she had nearly 3,000 TV/Radio appearances and over 290 million search results.
While Lady Gaga was ranked #7 overall she is ranked #1 in her category, Lifestyle. Her #7 ranking puts her only two spots behind Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and four spots higher than Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. It is that last one that make me really stop and think. Give it a second to sink in. Lady Gaga, a pop singer, is considered to be more powerful than the person who is second in line to be President of the United States. If something were to ever happen to the president next in line is the vice president. Speaker of the House follows next. I understand it has been a rough year for the democrats and the congress in general, but to say that Gaga has more power than Pelosi is a little scary. Potentially more frightening is that is may really be true.
You could make the argument that because of her legions of fans and her ability to get press and spread her word, Lady Gaga could have a lot of influence over political matters in this country should she decide to get involved with them. Most recently Lady Gaga held a rally in Maine where she called for the government to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ rule and allow gay people to openly serve in the military. Her rally drew about 3,000 people, but it was front page news across the nation so it had a much larger reach than just those who were there. When she was done with her speech Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and she chatted via Twitter. He agreed with her and committed himself to doing everything he could to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ When you give a speech and the Senate Majority Leader contacts you to thank you and pledges to work on your issue, that is power.
With just a few lines posted on Facebook or Twitter, Lady Gaga could urge her fans to call, write or contact any political figure she sought to approach. Obviously, the president is shielded from public calls, but anyone can pick up a phone and call the office of their state senator or congressional rep. Gaga could bury an office in calls, faxes and emails and force them to listen to her or suffer the wrath of her fans. Very few people have that kind of power. As we become more and more of a media driven nation publicity and the ability to get it translates to power and Lady Gaga and her ability to capture the public’s imagination has bestowed a lot of power upon her. She only has a couple of albums out so it remains to be seen if she can keep this kind of fire going, but when you consider that three years ago nobody had ever really heard of her, climbing from obscurity to be considered the 7th most powerful woman in the world is one hell of an achievement. It remains to be seen if or when she will continue to wield this power, but for now, she has a bully pulpit.
As for Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the politicians lagging behind Gaga? The message is on the wall. Slip into a raw meat dress, hire a great publicist and you might break the top 10 next year.
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